India, China ink border pact; 8 other agreements

| Updated on: Oct 23, 2013
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India and China today reached a comprehensive agreement to avoid border tensions and army face-offs along the Line of Actual Control by deciding that neither side will use military capability to attack the other side nor tail patrols along the border.

The Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) was today signed after extensive talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People.

The deal comes against the backdrop of strain in ties following a series of Chinese intrusions including the prolonged one by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops in the Depsang valley in Ladakh in April this year.

In all 9 agreements, including the BDCA and one on strengthening cooperation on trans-border rivers, were signed after restricted and delegation-level talks that lasted over two hours as Singh and Premier Li met for the second time this year for talks which the Indian leader described as "fruitful and productive".

But as expected, there was no pact on liberalising the visa regime, which the Chinese side was very keen but India held back in the wake of the controversy over the stapled visas issued by the Chinese Embassy to two Indian archers from Arunachal Pradesh.

The two leaders told the media that the fact that they met twice in a single calendar year, the first since 1954 when Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai undertook visits, reflected the significance of the strategic relationship between the two countries and the agreements reached today would inject a new dynamism in the ties.

The four-page BDCA, signed by Defence Secretary R.K. Mathur and PLA Deputy Chief of General Staff Lt Gen Sun Jianguo, with 10 clauses that seek to maintain peace, tranquillity and stability along the 4,000 km long the LAC reiterates that neither side shall use its military capability against the other side and that their respective military strengths shall not be used to attack the other side.

In his remarks at the joint press interaction, Singh said the two countries agreed that peace and tranquillity on the borders must remain the foundation for growth in the India— China relationship, “even as we move forward the negotiations towards a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement to the India—China Boundary Question. This will be our strategic benchmark.”

Published on November 24, 2017

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